Interview with AR DeClerck, Author of The Alchemist’s Kiss
A dark wizard has arrived in London, at exactly the time unrest among the non-magical community is coming to a head. London is under the protection of wizard and alchemist Icarus Kane and his loyal friends Cora Mae Jenkins and Archimedes Merriweather, and together they must chase down the threat while dodging the riots and the angry poor along the way. Icarus has no use for science, but there will be no escaping it as the aether, the very heart of magic, is threatened. All of London may perish if the dark wizard gets his way, and Icarus could lose his best friend and his lover in the battle. All the world could be destroyed under the tide of the oncoming storm unless Icarus can face his own power and embrace his inner darkness.
How did you first learn about steampunk?
AR DeClerck: I read a wonderful book called Silk and Steam by Bec McMaster and it was GLORIOUS! I knew I was addicted to the style and the genre immediately. So I picked up the Parasol Protectorate series by Gail Carriger, and it was an immediate love affair with all things “punk”.
What was your inspiration for THE ALCHEMIST’S KISS?
AR: Alchemist’s Kiss started with two names. Icarus Kane and Archimedes Merriweather. I knew they were best friends, and that they were alive in the Victorian Era. I thought about all the things I love about romance and steampunk and I decided to combine them. When I began to research Tesla’s idea of aether for another project, and the Victorian obsession with magic, I KNEW I had to make Ic and Archie and later Cora into wizards in a steampunk London.
Is it part of a series or does it stand alone?
AR: The Alchemist’s Kiss was designed as a standalone novel, but when I wrote about the other characters (Archie and Lucia and Bastion and Corrigan and Grayson) I couldn’t let it end. So, there’s currently a sequel in the works.
Please describe the main characters using three words each.
Icarus – loyal, broken, powerful
Cora – fearsome, pragmatic, dedicated
Archimedes – fierce, understanding, stalwart
What can readers expect in terms of action-adventure elements?
AR: I’d call Alchemist’s Kiss a “rip-roaring good time”. There are demons, dirigibles, wizards, the angry poor, crazed scientists and danger around every corner for my intrepid companions!
Describe a few of the gadgets/technology you created for this story.
AR: The most important thing to understand about A.K is that the aether is the heart of magic. The particle that works at the behest of the wizard to accomplish his “magic”. But aether is more than just a particle. It’s a living, sentient being, created thousands of years ago by a civilization that we don’t even remember.
The Dielectric is an invention created to nullify magic by nullifying aether (based on Nikola Tesla’s ideas about aether and electricity) and it plays a major part in the conclusion of the story.
If THE ALCHEMIST’S KISS were made into a movie, would it best be done live-action or animated?
AR: Live action!! With Alex Pettyfer as Icarus Kane, Tom Welling as Archimedes Merriweather, and Emma Stone as Cora Mae.
Other than writing, do you enjoy other steampunk-related things, like movies/comics/cosplay?
AR: I love steampunk movies, books and my husband recently introduced me to The League of Extraordinary Gentleman graphic novels which have a steampunk air about them. I’m always up to experience more “punk”!
What else can readers look forward to from you?
AR: I write adventure romance in many genres, including steampunk, scifi and fantasy. I have a shifter/wizard novel coming out November 27th, and hopefully the sequel to The Alchemist’s Kiss will be ready by Jan 2016 so readers can learn more about the secondary characters in the book.
I’m also currently writing a novel I’ve termed “futurepunk” in which my main character travels thousands of years into the future via a black hole chasing after his lost love, only to find that sometimes the future and the past are not so very different. Lots of fun in store for readers!!
Where can readers find you?
I LOVE interacting with readers and hearing what they have to say about my stories!
About the author
AR DeClerck was born and raised in Western NC, and currently resides in the Quad Cities, IL with her husband and two daughters. She is an avid reader and reviewer and loves steampunk, scifi, fantasy, adventure and romance. She spends her days helping people on dialysis live with kidney failure. She attributes her love of reading and writing to her Mother, who never goes without a book close at hand. Her books center around the idea that Love is the Greatest Adventure.